Police staff unions angered by employers’ offer of a pay freeze

A freeze would mean a pay cut in real terms, as inflation is rising by all measures

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UNISON, Unite and the GMB have reacted with anger after police staff in England and Wales were ‘offered’ a pay freeze yesterday.

The employers – the National Police Chiefs Council and the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners – told police staff to expect a 0% pay increase – with £250 for those on less than £24,000.

Inflation is currently running at 3.9% RPI, so this would be a substantial pay cut in real terms.

Meanwhile, the latest police workforce statistics for England and Wales, which were released today, show the police staff headcount is down by 15,600 (-14.3%) since 2010, with half of the cuts being PCSOs.

UNISON national officer for police Ben Priestley commented: “Police staff salaries have lost nearly a third of their buying power in the past 10 years.

“This attempt by the employers to impose a pay freeze, leaving them even worse off, is a disgrace.

“Staff have worked tirelessly to keep their communities safe during the pandemic. They deserve better and employers must improve the offer.”

Unite national officer Jim Kennedy described it as “an absolute kick in the teeth for police staff. They have been left stunned and angry by this announcement.

“Police staff have gone beyond the call of duty in the last 18 months to ensure that services were maintained and the public were kept safe in the most difficult and stressful circumstances.

“Workers are already grossly underpaid for the difficult and challenging roles they undertake. This pay cut will result in skilled, dedicated and talented workers leaving the service as they will be able to earn more in less stressful roles in other sectors.”

GMB national officer for police staff, said: “This response to our reasonable and moderate pay claim for police staff will be rightly viewed as an insult by the thousands of them who have put their lives on the line during the past 16 months to keep the country safe.

“The home secretary heaps praise on them, then offers them a pay cut. It’s rank hypocrisy. We will be meeting shortly to consider next steps.”